S African retail giant Steinhoff to buy Australian rival Fantastic Holdings

South African retail giant Steinhoff International yesterday struck a deal to buy Australian furniture manufacturer and retailer Fantastic Holdings for A$361 million ($274 million).

Steinhoff, which has recently gone on an acquisition spree, is offering to pay A$3.50 per Fantastic share, a premium of 43 per cent to the company's 13 October closing price of A$2.45.

All directors of Fantastic and major shareholders, holding over 50 per cent, have indicated they will vote in favor of the deal, Fantastic said in a statement.

Fantastic is Australia's third-largest furniture retailer by sales volume and the largest vertically integrated furniture group.

It operates over 126 stores across four furniture retail chains including, Fantastic Furniture, Plush, Le Cornu and the Original Mattress Factory. 

Fantastic is also Australia's largest sofa manufacturer, and one of the country's leading mattress manufacturers and operates a national supply chain to service all its retail brands.

Founded by Germany by billionaire Bruno Steinhoff in 1964, Steinhoff is an integrated retailer that manufacturer sources and retails furniture, household goods and general merchandise in Europe, Africa and Australasia.

The Sandton, South Africa-based company employs over 91 000 people, has 40 retail brands, 6,505 retail outlets located in 30 countries.

Listed on the Frankfurt and the Johannesburg Stock Exchanges, Steinhoff has a market cap of €20.2 billion and generates annual sales of €13 billion.

Steinhoff is expanding through overseas acquisitions. Last year it purchased UK discount chain Poundland Group Plc and US-based Mattress Firm Holding Corp.